Monday, April 29, 2013

A Week (or 2) in the Life of Me

Oh gosh, I hope this isn't too boring.
It's taken my mom YEARS to figure out why it's not appropriate to call me at 1 o'clock in the afternoon........and I recently left a really long awkwardly embarrassing message on someone's phone about calling me back because I know people don't grasp the concept of my sleep schedule.
A week in my life is full of enough variances to drive most normal people crazy. Since I work 12 hour night shifts that are really 13 hours (if everything goes as planned, given there is no plan because premature infants are unpredictable and we never know when they are coming), describing one day of my life would be a difficult concept to grasp.
Every week is different. Whatever the days may be, I prefer to be scheduled for 3 nights in a row, to prevent having to flip flop my sleep schedule too much, but sometimes my shifts get split up. You may think it sounds like a piece of cake to only work 3 shifts a week, but trust me on this one, those 3 days are completely void of any production outside of the hospital and you end up losing an entire day to make up for sleep.
"One day" is completely subjective to a shift worker, so I'll split them up according to normal people time in order to minimize confusion. For example, the week before last, I worked the dream schedule: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Then last week I worked: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: Sleep (0900-1630) and work (1830-0730).

Thursday: Get home from working all night, do lots and lots of errands, take 2 hour nap (1400-1600), hang out with Patrick and talk about real life stuff, sleep (2300).

Friday: Wake up and drive to Waco to meet my mom for weekend trip (0630).

Saturday: Weekend trip!

Sunday: Get back to Waco, take my mom home, hang with the parents for a little while, drive back to Dallas, hang with Patrick (he had amazing homemade pizza ready for me, and I overindulged).

Monday: Try to sleep in as long as possible, cook breakfast (1100), get caught up on any DVR shows I have while I upload and edit pictures from our weekend trip, try to take a nap (1330), workout (1500), shower (1600), pack my lunch --the hospital doesn't have a grill or cafeteria open on nights or evenings, so it's fend for yourself or eat patient crackers--, eat lunch when Patrick gets home from work while we talk about his day (1720), go to work (1800).

Tuesday: Eat dinner (any time from 0000 to 0200, depending on how busy I am), get home from work in time to kiss Patrick goodbye (0750), put a bunch of stuff in the crock pot, go to yoga (0830), come back home and cook breakfast (1100), sleep, wake up and finish cooking dinner --or sometimes we would take the puppies on a long walk during this time, in which case everything gets moved back a bit-- (1630), hang out and watch a movie with Patrick (1800), sleep (2200).

Wednesday: Repeat of Monday, --usually I use my window of time to write in my blog, and get to see Patrick for a few minutes when he comes home for lunch-- except this day I showed up to work, not realizing they put me on-call, so I stuck around to beg people to go home so I could work until I found a taker.

Thursday: Eat dinner (any time from 0000 to 0200), get home from work in time to kiss Patrick goodbye (0750), go to sleep (0930), wake up (1500), workout (1530), shower (1640), cook dinner and pack my lunch, eat lunch with Patrick (1720), go to work (1800).

Friday: Eat dinner (any time from 0000 to 0200, depending on how busy I am), plan on stopping at the gym to workout but feeling sick from exhaustion so go to bed early (0800), wake up to walk the dogs (0230), let Patrick cook me an amazing dinner, sleep super duper hard.

Saturday: Wake up and go to Edge Fest!!!

Sunday: NICU reunion day! Movie date with the hubs on our amazing couch.

Monday: House wife chores all day.
Wow; I just reduced my whole life down to a relatively short list. 
Of course, sometimes I switch it up and completely skip a day or two or working out becuase I'm too sleepy.........There are even times when I have too much to do to worry about getting caught up on sleep and stay up for over 24 hours after my work stretch before finally getting to bed. On some off days, my body is completely confused and wants to be sleepy all day long/wide awake at frustrating. And as you can see, even though it's technically only 3 days of work, veering from a normal awake/asleep schedule really zap's one's free time!!
Working weekends is generally a crappy required part of hospital shift work, but it has it perks.......Like not having to deal with overpopulated roads to and from work, or having weekdays off to get grocery shopping done while everyone else is sitting at their cubicle. And if I'm really lucky, I get to come home to a half naked husband cooking me pancakes and bacon, then cuddle with him when I crawl into bed (which is way better than the lifeless body pillow I usually sleep next to when he's at work).
If you're wondering how I manage to not live in a constant state of jet lag, the answer is: I do live in a constant state of jet lag. I laugh when I go to the doctor and get asked, "Do you feel fatigued?" The worst part, is knowing one day I'll probably look back on this schedule and dream of having it so easy again.
As if I don't share enough, now you know what I do every second of every day. I officially dub you a stalker!!! (It's okay, no need to feel guilty, I stalk a few people, myself....)
What's your favorite time of day and why?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Dingbat Redneck Family Vacation

Last weekend I headed to Waco for a Mother/Daughter date over a pedicure and massage, followed by a meet up with a RV full of family members ready to embark on a road trip for Memmaw's 80th birthday celebration. 
Equipped with enough snacks to feed an army, and a few fun games to pass the time, we set out on our journey to the Louisiana casinos. Packed like sardines between the rocking chair, walkway lawn chair, couch, and kitchen dinette, we talked over each other so loud between catch phrase and scattergories that passing cars might have heard us laughing without their windows rolled down.
Impressively, we'd made it almost all the way to Bossier City, before our first mishap occurred. 4.5 hours into our 5 hour trip, the RV had a massive blowout on one of the highway side tires. After multiple unsuccessful phone calls, Jan called 911. "Excuse me, we have an emergency! I'm in a RV with 11 ladies and we've had a blowout and have no idea what to do!"
It's about this time Blake chimes in, "What am I? Chopped liver? I'm going to have to hide in the bathroom when they come to help us now!!"
Two dragging hours later, a sunset come and gone, a cop escort for safety, a changed tire.......we were finally ready to get on the road again. 
Memmaw managed to "line up all her Mexicans" to win $100 on the slot machines before everyone was ready for bed, and when it was time to head upstairs there was no resistance on my behalf; I had my eye on the ginormous jet powered Jacuzzi in our hotel room.
I slept so hard that night I actually woke up disoriented and yelled at Patrick to turn the T.V. volume down. (Hint: Patrick wasn't there. My only roomie was my Mother.)
The next morning we all met downstairs in our matching outfits and headed to the boardwalk. Since packing into tight places seems to be a talent of ours, we all piled into a shuttle van like a bunch of clowns to just be toted a mile down the road.
It was at this time Jan realized she no longer had her camera. (It would never be recovered.) And as soon as we took our first steps towards the outdoor shopping area, good ol' Jan had blew out her heel to a point beyond repair.
 She and Aunt Susie found a new pair of shoes STAT, while we picked out a place to eat. 
Dare I say, while at the restaurant Aunt Susie was talking on the phone and said, "Bridgette, look! That guy over there looks exactly like Blake from the nose up." Bridgette looks in the direction she was pointing, "Mom, you're looking in a mirror. That is Blake."
Needless to saw, we laughed at each other a lot.
Momma and I admired the Red River and took a time out at the Shooting Range for a friendly competition in duck hunting at the Bass Pro Shop. 
(I think we really would have made the Duck Dynasty stars proud.)
....And tested out some of the home amenities....
Then Dana taught my mom and Blake how to play Roulette at Boomtown, where I managed to get some priceless winning faces caught on film before getting in trouble for using my camera in the casino. Oops. 
Saturday night rolled around and after opting out of paying $27 for a tiny buffet, we pulled some tables together at the hotel grill before making our way to the dance floor.
This wasn't just any hotel dance floor.
 It was extraordinarily special, occupied with a tone deaf DJ who abused his access to the mic by trying to sing along to the songs like it was karaoke night and a creepy old cowboy with absolutely no rhythm who relentlessly attempted to dance with anyone and everyone, stood without any other purpose than to be a disturbance in the middle of the line dances, and repeatedly walked down to our table while awkwardly pointing at people, then shake his un-groovy thang. TO A POINT OF CLEARING THE DANCE FLOOR, PEOPLE.
"It's like a treat for the eyes and the ears," Jan sarcastically yelled over the music. 
"Ya, I can't believe we get to experience this for free. I feel like we need to pay extra for this," I replied.
As if the hotel needed it's reputation of class drug any further through the mud, our table cackled ourselves to tears by making up corny dance moves and showing them off.
As night got late, our crew slowly began to trickle away to seek their beds. Our boisterous laughter may have been traded in with silent yawns, but there was no mistaking where we'd been.
Our boas left behind a trail of little black feathers that could be followed like Hansel and Gretel's bread crumbs. 
We'd left our mark on Bossier City.

Have you ever gotten a bunch of women from your family together for a road trip?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Quick Sand: Project Pretty Week 13

Sooo.......I'm still squeezing every ounce I can out of my yoga groupon and it's really starting to pay off. Just last year I was horrible at any exercise involving balance (always the first to wobble and fall over), but I've really been working on improving the strength of my bone hugging muscles, and this week I was a rock-star during balance training. The instructor didn't even have to correct my form on any of the poses; he actually came over to help me progress. I attributed this boost of strength to Jock Jams. (I know this completely goes against yoga mentality, but sometimes I like to look around and see what everyone else is capable of, and I was one of the leaders of the pack.
My confidence level couldn't stay too high for long, though. Shawn T. was sure to bring it back down below sea level with a super-kick-my-butt-into-the-floor-workout. It's been a while since I played an Insanity video, so I don't know why I went with the more advanced version......pure stupidity I guess. Callie made sure she was extra annoying in a really cute way by getting in my face to lick the sweat off my forehead every single time I came down to her level for a squat-push-up.
Even though it seems like my fitness has improved in quite a few aspects, I've managed to gain 10 pounds over the last year...........emotional eating perhaps? I was just thinking the other day (when it hit 90 degrees outside, geez) how I totally wasn't ready for bikini season. Then I snapped out of it. Who cares?? My husband thinks I'm sexy exactly the way I am.
(One night during dinner this week, when I looked over to him and caught him staring.)

Patrick: I really like to watch you eat.
Me: Why?
Patrick: It's kinda sexy.
Me: It is?
Patrick: I know it's crazy, but I'm kinda obsessed with you. Sorry.

Or maybe he's just trying to fatten me up so no one else will try to steal me away. He's probably sneaking extra protein powder into my food...........OMG.......So THAT'S why he's been cooking so much!!

Do you ever feel like you can't improve in one thing without having something else slip away into quick sand?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

People Need Our Help

As many of you know there was an explosion last night in the small town of West, where I attended high school. The magnitude measured in as a 2.1 on the Richter scale, even managing to shake my parents awake in their camper a good distance away. People all over Texas may not even know the little dot on the map by name, but they've all stopped there on one I35 trip or another to taste the Czech's specialty food I speak of often, kolaches. It's a town rich with with culture and tight knit families. A place that's home to fond friends and memories. And now a place we can unfortunately add to the nation's ever growing tragedy list.
The old trauma nurse in me wanted to leave work immediately, flock to the scene or my old work and help out, but I know there were pleanty of skilled responders on site and at the local hospitals. Social media has been a sanity saver by creating an open method for so many people I know to communicate they are okay, but many of them have lost their homes and loved ones. So many survivors are injured, grieving, and in need of basic essentials. 
These are the times we prove humanity is thriving. If you're ever looking for a way to outweigh the bad in this world with good, an opputunity is at your feet. Help this struggling community.

2. Carter Blood Care suggests donating blood sometime between now and through the next couple of weeks. There will be a drive today in Waco and lots of blood donated from the DFW area will also be making it's way to the affected people.
3. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to America Red Cross Disaster Relief. 
4. Starting At 8am this morning the T&M Contracting office at 123 Topeka Dr Suite H in Woodway Tx 76712 will be accepting donations in form of cash, check, gift cards to Home Depot, Heb and Walmart. You can call 254-224-6161 If needed.
5. For those of you that work downtown Waco. We will be taking in clothes, food, and all nonperishable items at A to Z Tire at 1009 Columbus Ave.
6. Pray for the healing of their bodies and the lifting of their heavy hearts.

If anyone in Dallas has anything they want to donate, I'll be gathering things today to take that direction.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It's A Crazy Life

When my husband sends me this text message, "When will I get to read a new blog?", it means a couple things. #1 I've been slacking on holding myself accountable to my non-existent but very real make-believe writing deadlines. #2 He likes to read my blog and that makes me happy (He's not allowed to read drafts or look over my shoulder while I write. Ever. So he lives in a constant state of suspense to read about my interpretation of our every day lives.)
I can't even explain how crazy life has seemed this week. Actually I could explain it very well, but my better judgement dictates that I should literally not go into detail..........just yet. Maybe later? Needless to say, my thoughts and spare time have been directed elsewhere.
On a different note, in the wake of all the hateful acts we've seen go down recently, I feel it's important to keep out heads up and focus on positive things, like all the passionate people who care to make this world a better place, and people with legit skill"z".
For example, have you ever heard of Uni-Geezer?? I had no idea this universe of action unicycling existed. Check it out.

There's a whole slew of them out there on youtube!!! It seriously makes me want to add this to my list of hobbies.

What do you think? This almost 60 year old makes unicycling look easy, huh?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. (Project Pretty Week 12)

(Project pretty is a personal commitment to share my weekly journey of keeping my non-New-Year's-Resolution: staying fit to improve quality of life while inspiring others to do the same. Let's all jump on the endorphin wagon!)

After an accidental 2 week slumber (I have no idea what minute I was laying on the couch with the excuse of resting my IT band/hip flexor, and the next minute it was 2 weeks's as if I was sucked into a wind tunnel time warp) there's nothing more motivating to get my butt back in the gym than needing to work out occupational frustrations.
I couldn't even force myself to run more than 2 miles on the treadmill (probably due to my very rational fear of falling off the back, resulting in me running as close to the front of the belt as possible, like so close my belly usually hits the middle grab handle, therefore making the t.v. 4 inches away from my face......and I can't stand looking at that monitor bouncing up and down with every step I's like watching the second hand of a clock), so I had to hop on the elliptical. While I haven't figured out a way to make training on either one of those machines any more enjoyable than watching rice boil, I have concocted a simple 5 step list everyone could benefit from utilizing in their everyday lives.

1. We must remember, no one is in the occupation of Mind-Reading except Mind-Readers themselves. And even if  a person tried to get paid for such a thing, I'd be skeptical. 
2. Considering I'm about 76% positive my reading audience has all graduated from kindergarten, and about 62% confident they finished high school, then I'm 101% sure most personal, social, and professional issues can be settled without "tattling to your teachers". Things can be resolved much more efficiently and effectively with adequate communication. 
4. You are a grown-up, act like it. Unless you're some sort of freakish uncanny accident like Tom Hanks in Big or Jennifer Garner in 13 Going On 30, then I'll consider reconsidering your situation.
3. Life really isn't a popularity contest. I promise. It's more about who can eat the most chilly dogs without throwing up.
5. Don't worry about what others are doing; enjoy the life YOU live. You only get one. Unless you are a cat......if you're a cat and reading this A) WOW, you are amazing! Are there others like you? B) you probably have a few more lives left.
Source: via Kayla on Pinteres
There it is, the down and dirty truth. Now go spread the word so we can all live in harmony!!!
While your brains are warm, take a moment to read this enlightening post from a gal who's way better with words than I. I'm 87% certain it will steer your attitude in a positive direction.

Do you ever get sucked into time warps? Do you check yourself before you wreck yourself? (Because you know, playing life dirty can be bad for your health.)


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

More Than Just a Walk

Do you ever stop to look at things the way you did as a kid, just to regain a different perspective?
It doesn't matter how many times we take Callie and Sumo to the park, they always have the same eager attitude, look at the big world with similar wonder in their eyes, and never want to go home. There's not anything in particular to do there but run, walk, smell, and look, but those are the same things we enjoyed doing as kids, isn't it?
Much more happens on our walks than just holding hands and stretching our legs. Some sort of magical electricity volts through our senses as we take the time-out to reconnect, away from the world. We talk about our day without  the distraction of technology. We race just for fun, and compare dandelion blowing techniques in efforts to eliminate all the seeds, hoping it will result in a wish coming true. We inhale the scent of spring, and take the time to look around. Sometimes one of those senses triggers a long lost memory to be shared. Like how I used to willingly lay in blankets of weeds, relentlessly searching for that one 4 leaf clover I was sure to find but never did. Then we both look down for a moment, and start counting clover leaves. 
 We may not be kids anymore in the literal sense, but we both agree it's still fun to go outside for running and walking and smelling and looking; just us, our puppies, and nature. 
It's important to not forget these uncomplicated things in life, and to never stop taking the time-out for an act as consummate and fulfilling as bonding.
Do your heart and your psyche a favor today; go on a walk, and enjoy yourself!

How do you stay connected with your family?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

We'll See About This

"If you can save lives, you can grow a plant."
That's what my mom said to me in the check-out line at Home Depot on Sunday. 
Bound and determined for me to inherit the green-thumb of my ancestors, my mom and Nana armed me with the supplies I needed to replace the mud pit corner of my yard with a small garden, and helped me get the roots in the ground.  
While Callie hid in the farthest corner, weary from all the chaos, Sumo submerged himself in the middle of the action. His three favorite things in life are hugs, outside, and being around people, so he was a happy camper through and through. 
I genuinely know absolutely nothing about nurturing a garden, but darn it, I'm gonna give it everything I've got to keep it alive!! Who knows, maybe sometime this summer I'll have some tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeno's  and basil leaves to cook with!
While we were at it, the rosemary bush my mother-in-law got me for Christmas found a new home to stretch it's roots into, and we planted the pine tree Patrick's work gifted us. I'm crossing my fingers the tiny sprig of mint I have left, after being indoors all winter, is healthy enough to bounce back with a vengeance. 
We decided it was finally safe to bring my array of potted plants outside, and the dresser my mom found for free on the side of the road worked as a perfect display shelf. A little rearranging of this and that, and now we have a charming vintage outdoor space.
I learned so many things about roots. Who knew plants got "root bound" or how to fix it??? Now I do! I do!
Oh instagram rock!
After a earnest day's work, we sent the fam' home, then Patrick and I showered all the fertilizer off our sweaty bodies to get presentable for a date to the movies. I'd been dying to see The Host ever since I read Stephanie Meyer's book last year! Only problem was, we'd vowed not to spend ANY money for 2 weeks, and as we were walking out the door we did a double check {to make sure we had our gift card}...............AND COULDN'T FIND IT. We turned the house upside-down looking for that very important tiny plastic rectangle and was about to admit defeat when we looked under the couch one last time, this time with the flash light app on Patrick's phone. Viola. 
Running late, we pushed to the edge of speed limits on the highway to trim down lost time, only to completely miss our exit due to construction. Finding the theater in the mall presented it's own challenge, and after making it to the ticket line, the process was slowed once again by an over-achieving youngster behind the counter who seemed to actually enjoy his job a little too much for my taste. It was looking like catching the beginning of this movie just wasn't in the cards for us. 
When we finally walked into the theater, the last preview was playing. Whew, that was a close one! The best part is, there were only 3 other people in the room, so we got to choose prime-real-estate seating. 
The good thing about vowing not to spend money and running too late to be tempted into buying a soda or popcorn at the theater (even if we wanted to break our own rule), was having room for home-made pizza when we got home!! Yes, I'm a little embarrassed to say my husband knows how to work the Kitchen Aid Mixer better than I do, but I'll take the shame any day for his crust-making-skillz. 
The man is talented, people. Chicago or New York style; he's got the know-how. 
As for making E.T. fingers.....well, he's pretty much an expert at that too. His talents are endless. "Eliot. Oooouuch......"

P.S. I told my mother it was way easier to save lives than to grow a plant, but I'd try to live up to her expectations, regardless. 

What's your favorite pizza style: Chicago or New York?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Redemption Day

I love being off work on weekend days!! As much as I appreciate the ability to get my errands ran and grocery shopping done while the rest of the world is sitting behind a desk at their 8-5'ers, having the same days off as the rest of my family is especially enjoyable. Actually, even though I thoroughly I love my job, I just love being off work period.
My mom and Nana came to visit this weekend. We spend Saturday window shopping at Ikea and Hobby Lobby, taste testing at Costco (or "Costcos" as my family would call it), and getting supplies for my new hobby (more on that later), while Patrick stayed glued to his phone for game updates, and apparently taking sneaky pictures of us behind our backs.
Somehow the entire day disappeared before our eyes, but prior to it's complete extinction, we got a redemption shot at Mr. Wok! Remember when Patrick and I salivated over the thought of how good their food could be, so we walked there one Sunday afternoon, only find out it was closed on Sundays? Well, this day was going to be different..........
Except after we walked there, we realized we should have gone much earlier, because we had to wait 45 minutes just to be seated. 
Who would have thought a little hole in the wall place a block from our house would be so busy? I mean....I know the parking lot is always full, but it's a little parking lot! 
Bored to tears on the waiting bench, we got nosy, and noticed people with entire bottles of wine at their table. Everyone {but us} knew it was BYOB. Without hesitation, we sent Patrick scurrying back home to retrieve a bottle of wine and a few beers. 
When we were finally seated, they directed us to a (nicely put) intimate booth pushed against a wall with a window curtain draping out just enough to aggravate my personal space, and a chair at the end of our table for our 5th person so we could knock knees, in the back of the crammed restaurant, with clean but damaged plastic covering to keep it "classy". If I hadn't witnessed all the awards on the wall and overheard the numerous satisfied customers raving as they walked out the door with appeased appetites, I would have been worried. 
The sweet waitress came to open our bottle of wine and take our massive food order. And then it started. 
One by one our meals arrived at the table, in no particular order, steaming hot. Forget any traditional dinner etiquette you've ever learned; no letting the dishes sit around in the kitchen until the whole table's order is ready. Oh no. This was about eating your meal in it's finest moment, when it's the freshest, getting to drool over it and take in it's fine aroma before the first bite is even edible. 
Everyone shared a little in the beginning, then dug into the rest of their plate with no take-backs; my vocabulary is void of words fit enough to describe how amazing and fresh each dish tasted. And our bill was so cheap! 
The fortune cookie makers must have had a premonition of our conversation to send Dusty such a perfect fortune!
Another plus? You don't need a designated driver when you're just a short walk away from home!!
I have a feeling this could be a dangerous thing: knowing about something like this so close to home. 

Do you have any BYOB restaurants you like to go to? Do tell. 


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